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Manchester City outlasts Newcastle in intense 1-0 at the Etihad

Julian Alvarez’s brilliant strike, set up by Phil Foden’s no-look pass, has Man City in front

Highlights: Manchester City 1, Newcastle United 0
Julian Alvarez provided the spark in the first half as Manchester City holds on for the win and three points against Newcastle United at the Etihad.

Three-time defending Premier League champions Manchester City showed Newcastle United the fine margins needed to put forth a title push, as Julian Alvarez’s first-half strike stood up in a 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

City had all three trophies from its treble front-and-center as the teams walked out on the pitch and put on a defensive clinic, getting all it needed in attack from Phil Foden in the role of Kevin De Bruyne.

[ WATCH: Premier League on Peacock ]

Foden assisted Alvarez’s spectacular goal, and limited Newcastle to very limited danger. Bruno Guimaraes whiffed on the Magpies’ best chance, and Newcastle falls to 1-1 on the season while Man City has claimed six points from six.

Man City held 60% of the ball and out-attempted Newcastle 14-7, but this was very much a chess match won by one spectacular move. That said, read on to see why Pep Guardiola was playing a special game on the day.

Newcastle pushes weary City as Guardiola sends depth message

Was Pep Guardiola making a point to his board or to the rest of the Premier League by beating Sevilla and Newcastle in a four-day span by using a total of 13 players.

Guardiola did not use a single substitute on Saturday after using just one on Wednesday, and it was the opposite of a depth flex that City is almost uniquely qualified to make on European weeks like this.

City very much looked like a group that had been used that often by the end of the match. We’re not sure how the players on the bench will feel about said philosophy, but it was brazen and didn’t fail him on the pitch.

Mateo Kovacic and Josko Gvardiol are showing no signs of failure to adapt to Guardiola’s demands, and Foden was phenomenal on the day. It could’ve been 3-0, or 3-1, if Erling Haaland was his clinical self but Newcastle won’t be angry with its day. Sven Botman was superb

What’s next?

Newcastle gets to host Liverpool at 11:30am ET August 27 (Sunday), a couple of hours after Man City meets Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

How to watch Manchester City vs Newcastle live, stream link, time

Kickoff: 3pm ET, Saturday (August 19)

Online: Watch online via

Phil Foden reaction — ‘Amazing from minute one’

Phil Foden joined our Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Mustoe, and Tim Howard from the Etihad Stadium after the game on Peacock Premium.

On the performance vs Newcastle: “It was a challenge coming out of the Super Cup a couple of days ago. We got a great result against a great team and it’s a step in the right direction.”

On playing inside: “Obviously from a young age I’ve played in that 10 role. As I progressed in the first team, I’ve played a lot out wide. The manager trusted me in the pocket with Kevin and Bernardo out.”

On the atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium with the treble trophies on display: “It was amazing from minute one, the fans were right behind us. We deserve that for what we achieved last year. That’s the standard now. We’ve got the players and the quality. Hopefully we can do that again.”

On how hard it is to keep hungry after last season: “It comes natural for me. I’ve always wanted to make myself better every day and want to improve. We’ve also got a manager who pushes us every day to keep going, get better and win. We’ve got leaders and winners, and it’s a blessing to be a part of this team. It’s top drawer and I’m enjoying every moment.”

Pep Guardiola reaction — ‘Everyone was fantastic. What can I say?’

“We could draw, we could lose. The way we played we more than deserved. We had chance to score two or three goals. Everyone was in a top performance.”

“I know his ability to move between the lines and his first control. His contact with Erling is good but we cannot forget how good he plays on the right side, the left side, the No. 9. But we had no Kevin, no Bernardo. Now we finally after a long week can rest a little bit. It’s nice to see the team in this way.”

“Julian is a striker but look how he runs there for it. Everyone was fantastic. What can I say? We came, we won the title, being in front of our people means a lot to us.”

Eddie Howe reaction — Newcastle worked hard but sloppy technically

“Tough game. They’re an elite team and we tried our best to make them play our game. We pressed them high. They did well in the first half but we did better in the second.”

“The second half showing was much better and there were moments for us. Fitness-wise we looked good but technically we were off today. Gave too many balls away.”

“We weren’t happy with how we were pressing in the first half. Couple of changes but it was more about bravery. We really wanted to be ourselves.”

Manchester City vs Newcastle United player ratings

The numbers don’t lie, or at least the numbers of our pals at Fotmob, in our opinion.

Newcastle disappointed out wide through an undisciplined Anthony Gordon and an energetic-but-sloppy Miguel Almiron.

Man City’s Phil Foden was sensational in what you might want to call a KDB audition with the Belgian megastar our months. The team was missing Bernardo Silva, too, but still controlled most of the game at home.

Rodri was very good apart from a huge uncharacteristic error that was covered up by Josko Gvardiol and Ederson. Ruben Dias showed few signs of rust and Manuel Akanji was terrific next to him.

FULL TIME — Manchester City 1-0 Newcastle United

A terrific defensive display from City, and an unnecessary show of endurance as Pep Guardiola did not make a single sub in using nine repeat starters from a midweek match in Greece against Sevilla.

Man City held 60% of the ball and out-attempted Newcastle 14-7, but this was very much a chess match won by one spectacular move. City won the xG battle 1.09-0.29, showing a real feat of solidity and strength at the back.

There were only 3 or 4 significant chances between the two, but Man City found a way to make that chance look easy through Alvarez. Six points from six. Next.

86th minute — Another sub as Magpies keep pushing

Newcastle had a solid 8-10 minutes of control and possession in Man City’s final third but the Magpies could not find the final ball.

Might that be it?

Eddie Howe is making another move as bright-but-wasteful Miguel Almiron comes off for Valentino Livramento.

There still should be some serious stoppage time, so who knows, especially as Pep Guardiola is still not substituting!

72nd minute — Rodri gets away with error

An extremely rare error — a rare-rror? — as Rodri gives Callum Wilson the ball in the Man City half.

Wilson is caught for pace by Gvardiol, and the ball winds up making its way to Harvey Barnes.

The summer transfer rips a shot on frame but it’s just that — to a well-positioned albeit stooping Ederson.

Now Bruno Guimaraes catches Foden on the ankle with his studs and is fortunate to escape with a mere foul.

About 20 minutes to play.

66th minute — Newcastle substitutions

While Pep has still not gone to his bench after making one sub versus Sevilla — is this a statement to Txiki? — Eddie Howe’s making two more moves for the Magpies.

Sandro Tonali and Joelinton will leave the fray and it’ll be Callum Wilson and Elliot Anderson as Howe goes all gas, no brakes.

63rd minute — Haaland just misses (again)

Foden’s superb day continues, as he cues up Haaland inside the box with a classy feed.

Haaland takes a few touches and ends up grounding a shot that takes a slight turn off a Newcastle back to move past the far post.

Newcastle still in this, and City looks a bit like a team that played at midweek.

56th minute — Newcastle substitutions

The Magpies have been much better in the first 10 minutes of the second half but young Anthony Gordon isn’t playing like a man with a yellow card... which he is.

So Harvey Barnes is being prepared to take the wheel after Gordon gets away with a foul on Ruben Dias. Joelinton isn’t so lucky for his foul on Phil Foden. He gets a yellow and is going to have come off through injury, as Sean Longstaff is ready to go.

HALFTIME — Manchester City 1-0 Newcastle United

Julian Alvarez’s pinpoint goal was wonderful, but Phil Foden had the assist and he’s been the star of the show through 45 minutes.

Playing something closer to a Kevin De Bruyne role with the Belgian star out of the lineup, Foden’s been credited with five created chances through 45 minutes and has also won the ball back four times.

Newcastle has had trouble getting to the dangerous areas but will otherwise look at the half as something expected away from home to the champs x3. City held 60% of the ball and took nine of the game’s 11 shots but few of real danger as the xG score line favors the hosts 0.45-0.07.

What changes will Eddie Howe make after the break? Harvey Barnes could replaced cautioned Anthony Gordon, while Valentino Livramento awaits playing time and both Callum Wilson and Elliot Anderson have looked good.

City will also make changes at some point after only making one sub at midweek and recycling 9-of-11 starters from the UEFA Super Cup win over Sevilla in Greece.

41st minute — Haaland misses by inches

Newcastle gets a decent run of possession, but the Man City attack is on when Ederson goes long.

Erling Haaland is 1v1 with Dan Burn and gets his half-yard to drag a shot across Nick Pope’s goal.

It beats the keeper but not the far post, and may have taken the thinnest of turns off Burn’s knee.

Still 1-0 to the treble-winning hosts.

31st minute GOAL — Julian Alvarez (video)

Phil Foden drives the right side and it’s a no-look cut back to a wide-open Julian Alvarez.

He snaps a pearler inside the far post, below the upper 90 but not by much, and Man City has its lead at home.

Newcastle will be ready to take the lid off their attack now. This is good for the game.

Alvarez's strike gives City 1-0 lead v. Newcastle
Manchester City finds their way through Newcastle United's defense, thanks to a powerful effort from Julian Alvarez, to go up 1-0 at the Etihad.

27th minute — Chess match at the Etihad

Two teams who defend so well — and attack well, too — in different ways has lent a lot of intellect to this first half-hour.

There’s intensity here, yes, but the combined xG is 0.09 at the Etihad. City’s had 67 percent of the ball but Eddie Howe’s men are very well-drilled here.


1st minute — Fabian Schar injury

Newcastle’s Swiss center back Fabian Schar, one of the transfer bargains of the last decade, is in bad shape after just 27 seconds.

Schar went up for a ball with Erling Haaland and landed real poorly on his back arm. Trainers have been with him and Newcastle are very briefly down for 10 men.

Being less than 100 percent for a physical test against Haaland is not ideal. Let’s see how this goes.

A question of early-season energy

Pep Guardiola clearly feels that its team — and home crowd — can get across the line despite a midweek trip to Greece that demanded 90 minutes from nine of their Saturday starters.

Julian Alvarez played five minutes off the bench against Sevilla and he’ll start as relatively-fresh, while Sergio Gomez, Rico Lewis, Maximo Perrone, and Kalvin Phillips are left to wonder where their minutes have gone.

Guardiola does not have Kevin De Bruyne for four months, and Bernardo Silva is ill and John Stones picked up a thigh injury.

How will the depth play against a rested and often ruthless Newcastle?

Newcastle united lineup — Unchanged

It’s not going to surprise anyone that Newcastle’s going with more of the same from the group that beat Aston Villa 5-1 in Week 1.

Manchester City lineup — Dias, Alvarez start

Kyle Walker captains Man City against Newcastle, with a few changes from the midweek UEFA Super Cup win over Sevilla.

Ruben Dias comes into the side for Nathan Ake and Julian Alvarez takes the place of Cole Palmer.

Team news - Newcastle

Newcastle United injuries

OUT: Emil Krafth (knee), Javi Manquillo (groin), Joe Willock (thigh)

Team news - Manchester City

Manchester City injuries

OUT: Kevin De Bruyne (hamstring - out until December/January) | QUESTIONABLE: Bernardo Silva (fever)